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City To Limit Downtown Traffic Ahead Of Breonna Taylor Death Anniversary

The Breonna Taylor Memorial at Jefferson Square Park in September of 2020.
The Breonna Taylor Memorial at Jefferson Square Park in September of 2020.

City officials will restrict vehicular traffic near Jefferson Square Park starting Friday morning, one day before the first anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s killing by Louisville police.

Protesters are expected to rally downtown on Saturday. The square, nicknamed “Breonna Square” and “Injustice Square,” became a central gathering point for racial justice protesters in 2020.

The city last restricted vehicular traffic to that area in September, in anticipation of a charging announcement by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and a grand jury that considered his office’s monthslong investigation.

The grand jury indicted one former officer, Brett Hankison, on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into an apartment neighboring Taylor’s during a middle-of-the-night raid. Three officers shot into the apartment that night, in response to what was described as a single “warning shot” by her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who thought the police were intruders. 

Taylor was shot multiple times and died in her hallway. Officers were there to gather evidence for a broader narcotics investigation focused on her ex-boyfriend. Investigators found no drugs or cash in the apartment.

The purpose of restricting traffic around the square is to “create a walking plaza and ensure the safety of those planning to gather at Jefferson Square Park this weekend,” LMPD Chief Erika Shields said in a news release sent by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s office.

The park will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., according to the news release.

Jean Porter, a spokesperson for Fischer, said in an email there is no curfew planned.

There will be no parking allowed on the following streets starting Friday after the morning rush hour through Sunday:

  • Jefferson St from 5th St to 7th St
  • Liberty St from 5th St to 7th St
  • Cedar St from 6th St to 7th St
  • Congress Alley from 6th St to 7th St
  • Court Place from 5th St to 6th St
  • 6th St from Market to Muhammad Ali
  • 5th St from Market to Muhammad Ali
  • Armory Place from Muhammad Ali to Liberty St

Officials said there will be ADA access at 6th Street and Market, and residents and downtown workers will have access to the area.

This story has been updated.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.